A not crazy cat lady cardigan!

So for a bit of background, I have a gray cotton cardigan that I bought shortly after the birth of my youngest that brings the frump to any outfit that has the misfortune of meeting it. To add insult to injury, the cotton is so thin that as a top layer, its thermal value is worthless. So what’s a girl to do when she wants a warm wool sweater? Knit it, of course.


The pattern search on Ravelry is bunches of fun, and one day poking around I found the Twylem cardigan from Vanessa Smith. Nothing about it looked too difficult and I really liked the cable motif. So I ordered a bunch of this pretty red Cascade 220 (non-superwash version) from my local yarn shop and got to work. The PDF for the pattern was well done and covered every aspect of the project without having to print out an excessive number of pages (12 or 13, I think). The majority of the garment is simple stockinette stitch and I knitted and purled like a champ all the way through two Brandon Sanderson novels on my laptop, excepting when I switched needle sizes by accident somewhere along the way, so I had to rip back a good six inches of the body to just where I had joined the front and back sections for the armscyes. Nonetheless, I still had the body of the cardigan done sometime in February 2014.

Being all clever, I decided to add the sleeves before finishing the front edges as I was bored with ribbing by that point and that’s when I ran into trouble. I was knitting the size 32 sweater based off of my high bust measurement as suggested in the pattern, which by the way was a great call on the part of the designer to put in the pattern. The sweater is a top down design with the sleeves intended to be knit in the round and seamless. I had never done that before, but even I was not sure that the pattern called for enough stitches to be picked up along the armscye (see my previous post on this sweater). The end result- I stuffed the project in the drawer and chose to forget its existence.

Of course, I never entirely forgot about it as I have all of my work in progress projects staring at me on my Ravelry page, but mentally I had consigned it to the same space as the one that needs frogging, to the extent of moving it out of the drawer that hold all of my unfinished projects. And then February 2015 got cold. Really cold (coldest on record for this region with the heating bills to reflect it). And I had no warm layers to bum around the house in. I suppose I could have just bundled up in my bathrobe like I’ve done in previous winters, but this year that felt too much like I should have hair rollers and a chain smoking habit, and I didn’t want to do that. The sweater I cast on this year was not going to be done in time, so I decided to buckle down and finish this one.

I’m glad that I did because the yarn feels nice to wear and I was toasty warm wearing it for the first time yesterday. The collar is double layered, so it feels cuddly around my neck, and I like the clean finish on the interior.


Okay, time to put on my sewist hat. See that ribbing that is the inside part of the collar, it is too large. I used the number of rows directed, which matches the single layer of ribbing for the bottom front edge. Unfortunately, because the cabling pulls in tighter than the corresponding ribbing, the turn of cloth does not work as intended. The facing is too large and so it rolls out at the edge. It is not a terrible look, but still not quite as refined as I would have liked. Also, I dislike the seam between the cabled section and the bottom ribbed section. If I were to make this again, I would take the cable section all the way to the bottom edge, do the same interior treatment but only 23 rows vice the 27 knit here, sew together the bottom edges of the collar and facing, then do my tidy bind off. Fitting wise, I did a decent job considering I had no idea what I was doing in the beginning. I did none of the waist decreases because my waist has been not smaller than my ribcage for over a year, and it worked out well just doing the hip increases. As I failed to wash and my test swatch, the fabric has relaxed into a looser fit than I and the pattern intended, and you can see the upper bodice is a bit too wide with the seam between the body and the sleeve coming out onto my arm. It doesn’t affect the wearability of the sweater at all, but that’s something I should take into account on future knitting projects.

So all in all, I am very pleased with this project and hope that it’s the last bit of cold weather wear I have to deal with for a while. Next up, Easter dresses!


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